Cultural heritage management and heritage (impact) assessments

A.M. Tarrafa Pereira da Silva, A.R. Pereira Roders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Cultural heritage management is going through a process of change, where the focus is no longer the management of monuments, groups of buildings or sites, but the cultural significance they convey, such as the values and attributes, either tangible or intangible, which motivated these assets to be considered outstanding and designated as cultural heritage. Cultural heritage managers need to ensure that the management practices and methods they follow remain adequate and when they don’t, to revise them in order to succeed in protecting the cultural heritage assets under their safeguard. This article aims to provide a brief background and state-of-the-art on heritage (impact) assessments. Further, it introduces a method to assist heritage (impact) assessments, which can either be applied to identify or monitor evolution in time and/or help determining the impact of various agents of change, such as climate, natural catastrophes or development, on the cultural significance conveyed on cultural heritage assets. An illustration on the progress and outcomes of its application on World Heritage properties located in Guimarães (Portugal), Willemstad (Curacao), Galle (Sri Lanka) and Zanzibar (Tanzania) will be presented and sustain the discussion on the contribution of such method to cultural heritage management, while exploring its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis). Last, conclusions are presented, as well as, recommendations for further research. The method, application and validation presented in this article are very useful to facility managers whose assets happen to be cultural heritage, policy makers who regulate cultural heritage protection and planning processes, and technical experts performing heritage (impact) assessments. Besides raising awareness for heritage (impact) assessments, this method also expects to contribute to the increase of cultural heritage management practices that enhance cultural heritage and in turn enable the contribution of cultural heritage to the sustainable development of present and future generations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Joint CIB W070, W092 & TG72 International Conference on Facilities Management, Procurement Systems and Public Private Partnership, 23-25 January 2012, Cape Town, South Africa
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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